Halloween Videogames: Costume Quest!

Though there are tons of video games out there for a Halloween Addict and horror lover, there aren’t too many that actually use the Halloween holiday as a key part of the plot.  Sure there are games that feature werewolves, and jack o’ lanterns… but to embrace Halloween as part of the game and use the devices and traditions of the holiday as play mechanics… well, I can’t think of any.
Until now.

Fellow Halloween Addicts, I present to you— Costume Quest.

Revealed two weeks ago, Costume Quest is an upcoming release from Double Fine Productions.
Who is Double Fine Prods., you ask?
Well they’re only an award-winning independent game studio founded by video game industry veteran Tim Schafer.
Who’s Tim Schafer, you ask?  (Geez, this is going to take forever.)
Tim Schafer is the designer of the critically acclaimed LucasArts Games:  Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, Secret of Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge and Day of the Tentacle.
Then he started his own company and made the critically acclaimed Psychonauts and the recent heavy-metal parody hack ‘n’ slash– Brütal Legend (with voice acting by Jack Black).  According to Wikipedia (so you KNOW it’s true): “He is known in the video game industry for his story-telling and comedy-writing abilities.”
Bottom line if you haven’t played ANY of these games:  he’s a talented guy and he writes funny games.
Enough about Tim, Costume Quest actually is the brainchild of one of Double Fine’s lead animators (and former Pixar employee) Tasha Harris who wanted to make a game around Halloween.  Awwww a woman dear to my heart.

SO… backstory out of the way… what’s Costume Quest you ask?  (So many questions from you today…)
Costume Quest is an action adventure game that unfolds on Halloween night. 
I’m going to steal the rest of the description from the website:

Go door-to-door collecting candy, points, cards, battle stamps and quest assignments to prepare for combat. Use your wit, bravery and home-made costumes with superpowers to rid the neighborhood of creepy monsters and SAVE HALLOWEEN!

This… sounds… awesome.
Seriously I haven’t been this excited about a Halloween-centric piece of entertainment since Mike Dougherty’s release of Trick ‘r Treat on DVD last year!

As for levels, there seems to be a “peaceful suburban neighborhood,” “mysterious village carnival,” and “monster-infested shopping mall.”  What a perfect mix of levels.  You’ve got the neighborhood to go door to door trick or treating in… you’ve got –what sounds like– a Ray Bradbury-esque Something Wicked This Way Comes carnival… and a George Romero Dawn of the Dead-esque mall filled with monsters.  Perfect.

There isn’t much info right now on CostumeQuestGame.com so I dug a little through the wide wide world o’ webs to find THIS exclusive preview from Ugo.com.  From what the article reveals, the kids (brother and sister Reynolds and Wren) can take on the powers of their costumes to fight off the evil minions.  So if a character is wearing a cardboard box of a robot costume, they’ll become a giant Mech to do battle.  Neat.  

Where can I buy this wonderful game, you ask?  (AGAIN with the questions!)
Answer:  Your couch.
Hear that sound?  That’s your brain exploding.
That’s right, Costume Quest isn’t available in stores, it’s available for download on either Xbox Live Arcade or the Playstation Network.  Price?  Dunno.  20 Ducats?  A Tootsie Roll wrapper?  Who cares?!  It’s a freakin’ Halloween RPG adventure!!!
The fact that the game is downloadable is good news as I assume new characters, levels and costumes will become available for download so the game can constantly evolve and grow.  Maybe even EVERY Halloween?

The only downside I see is that (according to the Ugo.com article) the game isn’t available ’til Halloween Day.  That’s great and all but I want to be playing this for the weeks leading UP to Halloween (maybe with a special unlockable download on the 31st?).   

UPDATE:  According to THIS article on IFC.com, the game comes out in mid-October with “new content scheduled to be available on Halloween.”  SPEC-TAC-ULAR.

STILL can’t get your head around this?  Well check out the wonderful trailer HERE or in the embed below which features this little ditty that sounds like it could have been spoken by Disney’s Magic Mirror himself:

Every year on Halloween,
Grabbing candy left and right,
Ghosts and Witches can be seen
Trick or treating through the night

This year it’s a different deal—
Someone new has come to town
Now the monsters are all real
And we have to take them down!

There’s a witch who thinks she might
Steal our candy ‘fore the dawn
We’ve got costumes built to fight!
Now the battle’s really on.

It’s safe to say that HalloweenAddict.com will be following this release closely and playing and reviewing when it when it debuts in October.   Good job Tasha and Double Fine. Can’t wait to play it.